The GOP-led Michigan House this week OK’d a bill that would lift the ban on deer baiting, which inspired GOP activist and rocker Ted Nugent to come to the Capitol and testify in support.
HB 4687 sponsored by state Rep. Michele Hoitenga (R-Manton) passed the House on a mostly party-line 57-49 vote on Tuesday. The legislation would allow hunters to use the technique during open seasons on deer and elk in Michigan. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) strongly opposed the bill, citing concerns about chronic wasting disease spreading.
“We’ve got about 40-plus peer reviewed studies that address this question of baiting and how it adds to disease spread,” DNR spokesman Ed Golder testified to a state House panel in September. “Peer reviewed research has shown that baiting and feeding beyond normal feeding patterns … greatly increases the likelihood of disease transmission.”
Nugent, a strong supporter of President Trump who campaigned for Michigan Republicans last year like former Attorney General Bill Schuette, who lost his gubernatorial bid to now-Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, testified he believes hunters should write regulations, not scientists.
“Banning feeding and baiting is a guaranteed destruction, further destruction, of this great heritage,” Nugent said.
Upon the bill’s passage Tuesday, Hoitenga said, “The ban is doing more harm than good by chasing hunting families away from the sport.”
The bill will now be before the state Senate for consideration.